It begins! Frontenac and Aromella

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Greg Corey

Supporting Members
Supporting Member
Jun 13, 2023
Reaction score
I spent the morning harvesting at the Thanksgiving Point teaching garden that is run by our local ag University extension. They don't have too many interesting wine grapes but these two are high my list of "I'd like to try that". So, here we go.

Beautiful Aromella clusters. Stunning flavor. They have a nice tartness with a super fruit forward flavor already. We'll see how that translates.


I ended up with about 75 lbs of Frontenac and 50 lbs of Aromella.

This is the first time I have used a crusher/destemmer. I went to the brew shop to rent one and it was the best $20 I've ever spent. I'm surprised by how many little stems make their way in but it shouldn't be too bad. The bulk was spit out the back as expected.


The Frontenac is macerating au natural on the skins and I crushed/pressed the Aromella where it will do it's initial bloom (natural yeast as well) in two carboys and then I'll combine to remove some headspace. The juice is super green!
Screenshot 2023-09-06 at 3.20.31 PM.png
Aromella 19º pH 3.5 (maybe could have been longer on the vine but I was beholden to the University harvest schedule)
Frontenac 21.5º pH 3.7 (this seems about right if not a little low on sugar but the pH looks good)

I'll do TA measurements after I do some work at my Day Job. This all took a liiiiiiitttttle longer than expected. This is the biggest harvest I've processed in one go.
Ok. TA results are in. I did them this morning

Aromella 8.0g/L
Frontenac 7.9 g/L

A little high in Acid for the Frontenac but I'm planning full MLF and most likely light toast oak.

We'll see how it goes! Punch down this morning is already off-gassing quite a bit so fermentation is happily taking old.
I racked the Frontenac again yesterday (still some junk in there from pressing) and gave it a taste. MLF is well on its way and the wine tastes surprisingly good! I see the potential. It reminds me a lot of a more red fruit forward Syrah. Really smooth but bright. Exciting stuff.
Your crop ripened better than it does in its home state. I am used to TA of 1%.

Good to see your impressions, I would like to taste the finished to compare climates. To me almost all the reds here have “northern hybrid flavor”, ,, sort of flinty, ,,, and I scratch my head with what I could do to taste more like vinifera.
I know the flavor you are talking about - it's not always bad but sometimes it's undrinkable. I did a road trip around Lake Michigan and tried a bunch of wines from different wineries and I had some truly lousy 'norther hybrid' wines that I had to dump. However, Northern Sun Winery in Bark River MI had the most beautiful expressions of Marquette and Lèon Millot. Just perfectly balanced, full of fruit, mild tannins and acidity and delightful to drink.

I'm more than happy to figure out how to ship some wines for some taste tests. Unfortunately it's illegal to ship alcohol into Utah (which really puts a damper on my ability to explore flavors that aren't brought in by the state approved brokers).

Latest posts